"You're young, you'll have more babies."

“You’re young, you’ll have more babies.”

Have you heard this phrase? What has been your response?

I truly think people mean to encourage when they say this. It’s hard to imagine something so painful happening to anyone (especially a young person) so we try to make meaning from it and offer some piece of hope. But attempted hope without truth is misplaced. I did have more babies—four more losses and one in my arms. How do we define young, and why? (32 is young to many, yet ancient to some.) Does loss become less bearable with each year? Do we determine the number of our days?

Someone once told me to forgive others before they speak, and I love that reminder. I sure need it myself. Grace on grace. I try to hear the meaning beneath the well-intentioned phrase. “I can’t imagine this happening to someone at any age. Children aren’t replaceable, though I pray you’ll have more.”